For a number of months now I’ve been leading a Bible Study on the book of Revelation. One of the aspects of that magnificent book that we’ve looked at is the theme of idolatry. According to Vern Poythress and number of other commentators and theologians, the infamous character of the “Beast” can manifest itself today in the form of powerful government, especially a government that offers salvation from whatever threatens its citizens and persecutes those who refuse to bend their knee to it.
It’s been said that Francis Schaeffer, when asked toward the end of his life what was the greatest threat to the kingdom of God, answered immediately, “statism” (the idolatrous reliance on the federal government to solve all problems and offer salvation from the world’s ills).
Last Sunday evening I taught at my home church on recognizing with spiritual eyes and labeling the “Beast” and the idolatrous worship of it, so that Christians can reject it and persevere in faithfully serving Jesus Christ and awaiting his coming. So it struck me today as rather obvious when I read here the following paragraph that worship of the “Beast” is still alive and well in America today. Look for it and reject it for what it is. (Note: I am not rejecting the necessity or goodness of government, just the viewpoint that government has the power to ultimately save us from evil.)
This is a wholly preventable crisis. It does not have to happen,” he says. “If the federal government, which is the only entity that has the resources we need to fix the problems that we have — if they swiftly and effectively begin to address the issues of housing and joblessness and lack of health care, it would pull the rug out from under racial resentment. People would not feel abandoned, and they wouldn’t feel as if they had to turn to extreme politics to achieve their ends, both blacks and whites.